tv PBS News Hour PBS June 7, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: wisconsin governor scott walker called for unity after winning a decisive victory in yesterday's recall election. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the "newshour" tonight, we get the latest on the national implications of the wisconsin contest and assess what it means for liberals, conservatives and the presidential campaign. >> woodruff: plus, we examine a study showing the nation is more polarized than ever and launch a new project called "listen to me" featuring the voices of ordinary americans. >> i think this' too much division. i think they don't have a common goal, they don't want to partner together. they want to blame the other
side. >> ifill: betty ann bowser reports on the explosion in the number of cases of type two diabetes among children, a trend with frightening consequences. >> my grandfather, he lost his eyesight from diabetes and my dad was like "you don't want to lose your eyesight, do this, do that." i think losing my eyesight scares me the most. losing a limb scares me but not as much as losing my eyesight. >> woodruff: jeffrey brown remembers ray bradbury, whose tales of science fiction and fantasy captured the imaginations of generations of readers. >> ifill: and in the latest installment in our "american graduate" series, ray suarez talks to teachers about testing and accountability. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> growing up in arctic norway, everybody took fish oil to stay healthy. when i moved to the united states almost 30 years ago, i could not find an omega-3 fish oil that worked for me. i became inspired to bring a new
definition of fish oil quality to the world. today, nordic naturals is working to fulfill our mission of bringing omega-3s to everyone, because we believe omega-3s are essential to life. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: aftershocks from
wisconsin's recall election were still resonating today after republican scott walker convincingly turned back a challenge from democrat tom barrett in a bitterly fought contest. >> the election is done. we don't have opponents anymore. >> ifill: scott walker was back on the job in wisconsin today after becoming the first governor in u.s. history to survive a recall. >> tonight, we tell wisconsin, we tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions. ( applause ) >> ifill: walker easily defeated his democratic challenger, milwaukee mayor tom barrett, by 53% to 46%, a spread even greater than two years ago, when the two first faced off. at a victory rally in waukesha last night, walker struck a conciliatory tone. >> tomorrow is the day after the election, and tomorrow we are no longer opponents, tomorrow we are one as wisconsinites. so together we can move wisconsin forward.
>> ifill: walker's move to strip away collective bargaining rights for most public employees last year sparked the angry recall campaign. but after last night's defeat, barrett also called for both sides to move past polarization. >> we are a state that has been deeply divided, and it is up to all of us, our side and their side to listen... to listen to each other and to try to do what's right for everyone in this state. >> ifill: the wisconsin result was a big defeat for organized labor, which helped lead the recall effort. and although neither president obama nor mitt romney were directly involved in the race, it has thrust wisconsin into the national political spotlight. exit polls showed that wisconsin voters would favor the president over romney in november by 51% to 44%, the same margin by which walker, the republican, beat barrett, the democrat, last night. but marquette law school polling
director charles franklin says yesterday's vote should not be considered predictive. >> when we look at a highly polarized electorate and imagine that it carries over to every aspect of political life, we're making a mistake. the public is actually more fluid than that and is fully capable of going with walker on the one hand and obama on the other. >> ifill: the president won wisconsin by 14 points in 2008. both campaigns concede that the state will be much closer this time around. romney and obama swept primaries in five other states tuesday. in new jersey, congressman bill pascrell bested fellow democratic incumbent steve rothman after redrawn district lines pitted them against one another. and in keeping with the anti- union mood on view in wisconsin, voters in san jose and san diego approved cuts to retirement benefits for city workers. so will the wisconsin story change the campaign, the country? for more, we turn to craig gilbert of the "milwaukee
journal sentinel" and susan page, washington bureau chief of "usa today." so craig gilbert, we've talked about this before, now you can tell us the answer. how did scott walker do it? >> well, ironically, as polarized as wisconsin, is i think charles franklin is right. there is a middle, there are ticket-splitters, there are swing voters. those obama/walker supporters we see in the exit polls, which is about 10% of the people that voted tuesday really symbolize that group and scott walker won that battle. so it's... everybody is not in one of these two armed camps. not to down play it at all. but this will come into play in november in the battle for wisconsin in the presidential race. president obama has a narrow lead right now in the polling but, you know, he has to close the deal with these pragmatic voters that are not voting on ideology, they're voting on performance and they're voting on optimism, pessimism and the economy. >> ifill: craig, was the margin of victory a surprise to
you? >> you know, not a shock. i mean, one... in fact, charles franklin's poll had it exactly at seven points. i thought it would be a little closer. a lot of republicans thought it would be closer to a three or four-point race rather than a six or seven-point race. so it would have been... i mean, the real shock to the political world would have been if scott walker had lost. he'd been ahead in every opinion poll. >> ifill: susan, i wonder sometimes, even though there has only been three of these kinds of recalls mounted in the other two cases, one in the 1920 and one in california we know about, that maybe a recall is just a step too far. maybe it's too drastic a move? >> i think clearly the exit polls in wisconsin indicate that six out of ten voters said that a recall should be reserved for situations where there's official misconduct. which was not the case here. what the case here was that the governor had really angered a lot of public employee workers and their supporters and they felt he had gone politically too far, not that there was a scandal around his name.
so i think that was a... certainly a factor in... with the big turnout, bigger turnout than in the general election they had two years ago and also in expanded margin of victory for him. >> ifill: does that pro-walker vote that's not necessarily anti-obama tell something to either of these campaigns about a way forward outside of wisconsin? >> well, it does say there are some voters in the middle. i think the number of voters in the middle is probably pretty small and if you look at wisconsin in particular, those are the voters romney's going to target, right? i mean, he can go after walker supporters who are not yet supporting him. he can win wisconsin, a state that has not gone republican since 1984. of the swing states we're looking at, the 12 swing state wes think are in play, wisconsin is the one that has a strongest democratic history and might be the biggest surprise on that list. >> ifill: craig, democrats today have been saying part of the problem for them was they were outspent so grievously from outside groups who poured more
than $60 million into this wisconsin recall race. is that so? did money drive the outcome? >> well, money always matters. it may not have mattered as much in some respects the way we typically think about in the terms of television because opinions were very fixed about the governor. but it... there's no question it mattered. it went into organization, it went into a lot of aspects of this campaign. i think the bigger question for democrats going forward is not the role that money played just in this election but are they going to be able to achieve anything like financial parity in state elections with republicans? i mean, given the severe financial stress these elections are now putting on a retrenched labor movement and given the kind of spigots opening on the right for big individual givers and for groups it just... it's very ominous, i think, just purely in financial terms for the democrats competing going
forward in state elections. >> ifill: susan, why aren't the spigots opening on the left? that's what the labor union movement was supposed to provide, this offsetting fund-raising challenge. instead labor kind of took one to the chin this time. >> well, labor is still sending a lot of money but in this case they're spending money on behalf of labor, not on behalf of the general national democratic party or a lot of state races. and i agree that the losers... tom barrett was certainly loser last night but also public employee unions it's not clearly politically possible for a governor to go after the public sector... the public employee unions in his state and survive politically and i would think we'd see repercussions for that in other states, states with republican governors and even states with democratic governors. >> ifill: so you're watching new jersey, ohio, indiana? >> new york, california. many states find themselves in fiscal difficulty now and many of them have these pension plans that are underfunded for public
sector workers and that they would like to move to the kind of 401(k) plans a lot of us have in the private sector. >> craig, did the democrats and unions pick a fight they could never win? did they miscalculate? >> it sort of looks like in the retrospect and there were people not just on the democratic party but in the labor movement who wondered about that themselves who in some cases argued against doing this. if they hadn't done the recall fight against the governor and just done the recall fight for the legislature they probably would have been perceived as taking away important victories because over the course of a lot of recall elections at the legislative level they've gained three seats in the state senate and taken control of the state senate. but it's interesting to look at what happened in ohio compared to what happened in wisconsin. in ohio they had a referendum, they won the referendum referen. there were differences in the substance of the law. but in wisconsin because it's a recall it gets politicized and it becomes inevitably not just an arguen't about labor policy
but you start losing any republican allies you have when you talk about recalling republican governors. >> ifill: susan, finally, does this make wisconsin a critical state in the fall and do other states become... do you start reordering them in your tossup list? >> i think it's a sign of changes we've seen across the great lakes region, the industrial belt which has long been a democratic base, is now increasingly a harder place for democrats to win, although still democratic leaning. then you look at states like colorado and nevada which have been historically republican states but are trending democrat democratic with a coalition of hispanics and college educated whites. so i think you see big shifts in the political landscape of the country and wisconsin is one sign of that. >> ifill: well, we'll keep watching all of those ships with you, susan page and you, craig gilbert. thank you both so much. >> thank you, gwen. >> woodruff: coming up, we'll look at the polarized electorate in wisconsin and beyond.
also ahead, the spike in diabetes among children; remembering a master of science fiction and teachers on what works in the classroom and what doesn't. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: wall street had its best day of the year so far. the rally came on speculation policy makers around the world will take steps to stimulate economic growth. also today, the european central bank held its benchmark interest rate to 1% and signaled it could cut it in the future. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 286 points to close at nearly 12,415. the nasdaq rose more than 66 points to close about 2,844. three suicide bombers blew themselves up in kandahar, afghanistan today killing 22 people. the attack happened at a busy marketplace near the entrance to an afghan military base. 50 others were wounded in the bombings. in eastern afghanistan, afghan officials said a pre-dawn nato airstrike targeting militants actually killed civilians. residents of the area dug through the rubble of the bombed site today.
they said the airstrike happened while people were celebrating a wedding. nato said it had no reports of civilians being killed but was investigating. violence flared in syria today. activists reported approximately 80 people were killed by government forces in villages outside hama. that's in spite of an eight- week-old cease-fire agreement. earlier, u.s. treasury secretary timothy geithner warned syria that the world will take action to end its now 15-month-long crackdown. in washington, geithner urged more than 55 countries to impose maximum financial pressure on the syrian regime. and he held open the possibility for further u.n. action. >> we gather in the shadow of a massacre. and nothing we say can adequately respond to such an event. nor can sanctions alone bring about the change we seek. but sanctions can play an important role. strong sanctions, effectively implemented, aggressively enforced, can help deprive the syrian regime of the resources
it needs to sustain itself and to continue its repression of the syrian people. >> sreenivasan: u.n. peace envoy for syria kofi annan briefs the u.n. security council on syria tomorrow in new york. defense secretary leon panetta today defended the american use of drones and said they will continue to be used as a tool in the war on terror. his comments come two days after a drone attack in pakistan killed al-qaeda's second-in- command. he said the u.s. will keep targeting other al-qaeda leaders as long as they pose a threat to the u.s. speaking in india, panetta dismissed the pakistani government's charge it was a violation of its sovereignty. >> this is about our sovereignty as well, because there were a group of individuals who attacked the united states on 9/11 and killed the 3,000 of our citizens and we went to war against those who attacked the united states of america.
>> sreenivasan: panetta also insisted the drone strikes have been effective at eliminating threats to pakistan as well. a group of muslims in new jersey filed a federal lawsuit against the new york police department today. they want to end what they call spying on muslim neighborhoods and mosques up and down the east coast that has been happening since the 9-11 attacks. the lawsuit alleges the department's surveillance practices are unconstitutional since they are based on race and religion. but an investigation by the new jersey attorney general last month determined the n.y.p.d.'s activities were legal. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and we come back to the campaign and an increasingly polarized environment. the passion from supporters of both parties leading up to yesterday's vote in wisconsin is just one slice of a national trend, and one that is growing, according to a new poll. the pew research center's american values survey has tracked attitudes on a variety of issues over the past 25 years.
asking about views on government, business, the environment and social issues pew researchers found this year, that partisan divisions have grown more intense than ever. andrew kohut is the pew center president. >> when we first started dong this in 1987 we found that income, education, race, and party affiliation were all about equally important or influential in shaping views about values. now, however, we find that education, income, and the range of demographic factors continue to be as influential as they were in 1987 but the influence of party affiliation has doubled. >> warner: when pew began asking its set of value-oriented questions in 1987, the average disparity by party was 10%.
by 2012 the partisan gap had nearly doubled to 18 points. >> almost all of the increase that we see occurred not gradually over the past 25 years but in the past ten years. that is to say during the administrations of george w. bush and now barack obama. by the middle of his first term, most democrats strongly disapproved of george w. bush and almost from the get-go most republicans have strongly disapproved of barack obama. so part of it is response to these presidencies and the political culture. part of it, too, is the way the parties have changed. the parties have become smaller than they once were. we have a record number of political independents. >> woodruff: in fact, an unprecedented 38% of those
surveyed identified as independents. the most to choose that description at any point in the last 75 years. by comparison, just 32% said they were democrats. and only 24% now call themselves republicans. throughout this election year the newshour wants to hear from all these categories of voters from across the country as a part of our "listen to me" project. and while we're just getting started, by november 6 we will collect a rich tapestry of voices, including many independents. >> i think there's too much division. i think that they don't have a common goal. they don't want to partner together. they want to blame the other side. blame the past. there's too much well what bush did and too much what reagan did what clinton did. and they won't even come together. they're there right now. the obama administration and the congress, the republicans and the democrats need to work together. >> woodruff: so what does this polarization mean for the 2012
presidential election? pew found the most notable divisions are in areas where president obama and his republican challenger mitt romney appear to differ the most. >> if you looked at one set of values that differentiates republicans from democrats it's about the role of government not only in general but with respect to a whole range of things. from continuing to provide entitlements to concerns about the growing power of government and those questions will be, i think, central to the choices of many voters. >> ifill: one major sticking point: health care. when asked about the government's role in health care 88% of republicans say the government is too involved. 61% of independents agree but only 37% of democrats. and many of our "listen to me"
voices reflect that divide. >> the most important issue for me is repealing obamacare because i believe that it goes against our constitutional rights and is going to financially bankrupt the country. >> health care is an example. i support the health care plan as passed by the congress and supported by the president. we've got to do something. >> woodruff: you'll be hearing more voters like these in the coming weeks on the "listen to me" page on our web site, newshour . pbs.org. so, what does it mean that more americans are turning away from the political parties? to explore this, we turn to linda killian, a senior scholar at the woodrow wilson center and the author of the book, "the swing vote: the untapped power of independents." linda killian, thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me, judy. >> woodruff: who are these inspects? we heard andy kohut say they are 38 of the electorate. tell us who they are in terms of
age, gender, income level. >> well, they're very diverse. since it's a larger group than either democrats or republicans you can imagine they are very diverse. they're all over the country. obviously they matter more when they're in swing states, battleground states. i talked about four: colorado, ohio, new hampshire and virginia which will be at the key of this election and in reviewing hundreds of swing voters, independent voters around the country, i identified four key constituenciesconstituencies: n. these what la what we used to call rockefeller republicans. socially liberal, fiscally conservative. america-first democrats. we used to call those rig tkpwapb democrats. these would be voters like those in wisconsin. 18% of the voters who voted for scott walker said they intend to vote for barack obama. big chunk of these conservative democratic voters. young voters. i call them the facebook generation. they're registered as independents in a higher percentage than any other age group and the power group are
suburban voters. starbucks moms and dads. they swing elections. suburban and exurban voters. the election will be decided in suburbs. >> woodruff: just to clarify, who is in these groups classifying themselves as independent shifts from election to election. that's what we heard in that wisconsin piece. >> it does. they change their minds. they swing. >> woodruff: and what's your understanding for why the numbers of these folks have grown? >> they are very disaffected with the two parties. they're very dissatisfied. it's like they're vegetarians and the democrats and republicans are offering steak and chicken. they're have been unhappy. they don't like the negativity. they want substance. you heard your first voter there talking about they want more substance, they hate money in politics, they are concerned about the deficit obviously jobs and the economy are the top two issues. for independent voters they care very much about substance, the
deficit >> woodruff: in terms of what they believe in, do they have a mention of views or is it just that they don't feel as strongly as do the hyperpartisans on both sides? >> well, i think a myth about independent voters is that they don't care and they're not informed and they're just wishy-washy. that's not true. the independent voters care very deeply about this country but they have a mix of views and don't feel comfortable in either party. they're socially tolerant. they feel like things like abortion, gay marriage, birth control, the government doesn't have a role in these. so they cared less about those issues. a majority of them agreed with what barack obama did on gay marriage but they say it won't affect their vote because they don't care that much about it. but they are very concerned about issues like the deficit and being more fiscally responsible, having government that makes sense. >> woodruff: picking up on those definitions of descriptions that you used a minute ago, how truly
independent are they? because i noticed the pew survey said most of them lean toward one party or another. so what does that mean? >> this is another thing. it makes them mad. i'm telling you, interviewing independent voters, this thing saying they're not independent really angers them. yes, a number of them lean democrat and republican and consistently vote... they've become independents for a variety of reasons. but pew surveys a variety of exit polls, i think it's very fair to say half of all the independent voters-- so that would be about 20% of all registered voters, if 38% are independents-- are truly swing independent voters. you can see that from 2008 to 2010 and what happened with the way independent voters voted. >> woodruff: finally, what does this mean for president obama in the fall and governor romney? >> well, it means they're going to have to work hard is what it means. it means the swing voters are up
for grabs. they haven't made up their minds. i don't think they will make up their minds until october and they're going to watch the conventions, they're going to watch the debates and they will vote for the most part based on who they think is going to be best for the economy and jobs. >> woodruff: what does it say about the message, the way romney or president obama tailor their message? >> they should be substantive. they should talk about what they're going to do. we have fiscal cliffs hanging at the end of the year, taxes expiring, triggers on spending, they should talk about substance and what they would do for the country and to solve the country's problems. >> woodruff: linda killian author of the new book on the swing vote "the untapped power of independents." thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: you can watch those "listen to me" videos on our politics page. >> ifill: now, the alarming rise in diabetes among the young. nearly one out of every four american teens either has the
disease, or is at risk. those numbers are prompting a series of efforts to combat obesity. the disney company announced yesterday it will be the first major media company to ban junk food advertising to kids on tv, radio and the web. but doctors say that, when it comes to kids, the dangers of diabetes are even harder to treat than they expected. "newshour" health correspondent betty ann bowser has the story. >> reporter: 16-year-old shannon conder knows sacrifice about as well as anybody her age. >> she's pretty typical. a vary sedentary child.
really has no experience with activity. no way to think about being active. she's relativery socially isolated. doesn't really have very many social opportunities. she's home schooled. she has a number of medical problems in addition to her diabetes. >> reporter: about 3,600 cases of the disease are now being diagnosed in children each year. that increase encourage add national study of children with type two diabetes released last month and sponsored by the national institutes of health. he chaired the research which came to some pretty grim conclusions. among them, that the drugs used to treat early stages of the disease aren't working very well. >> that was a big surprise. we didn't really expect that standard therapy would be so ineffective in these kids. >> reporter: what he's talking about is a drug called metformin
that, when given to adults, keeps them relatively stable for years. but not so for the children in the study. and researchers don't know why. dr. barbara linder is the senior advisor for childhood diabetes research at n.i.h. >> we're not sure. we're doing a lot of further data analyses to try to understand this. type two diabetes has multiple components on people who develop type two diabetes are insulin resistant and we know there are hormonal changes during puberty that make all children somewhat insulin resistant. >> reporter: for whatever reasons it means type two diabetes is progressing fastener children than it does in adults. >> in adults, the average time from the diagnosis of diabetes to the on set of their first major cardiovascular event--
heart attack, need for bypass, something like that-- is about 15 to 20 years. everything that we've seen so far suggests that these kids have a progression rate that's at least as quick if not a little faster which means that this kid who has their onset of diabetes at 15, we may be looking at their first major cardiovascular event by the time they're 35. >> reporter: shannon's mother terry england has heard about all the complications that can result from diabetes. other people in her family have had the disease. one cousin even died from it. but england says she can't be around 24 hours a day to monitor shannon's diet. >> sometimes she'll sneak off and have things she shouldn't anyway, you know? it's like i'm going to be like everyone else, you know? but i don't think that at her age and even before i don't think that she totally gets it.
>> reporter: not only does shannon have type two diabetes, she recently had major surgery for obstructive sleep apnea to open her air ways and help her breathe better. and she's well aware that there is one thing she could do to improve her condition. >> yeah, it is hard to not be like everybody else. but, you know, everyone has some kind of thing they have to carry with their whole life so this is mine. >> reporter: would you like to be able to lose weight? >> yes. >> reporter: is it hard to do that? >> yes. >> reporter: what's the hardest part about it? >> um, will power. >> reporter: the doctor says the irony of this explosion in type two cases in children is that the disease is almost
entirely preventable. he calls it a life-style illness. >> this represents the outcome of a large number of social changes that probably began in the '70s. more mothers working so the kids were coming home to empty homes, being told to stay indoors, more opportunities for sedentary activities. when i was a kid you went outside. so the opportunities for sedentary behavior have increased. >> reporter: 15-year-old essence reese knows how hard it is to stay active. after her diagnosis, she dropped about 50 pounds. then gained much of it back. but she works out constantly, playing varsity volleyball and basketball at denver's thomas jefferson high school saying she'll never give up but it's a constant battle. >> either you're going to deal with it or it's just going to
take over. and it just... like, because my grandfather, he lost his eyesight. and... from diabetes, and my dad was like "you don't want to lose your eyesight." i think losing my eyesight scares me the most. losing a limb scares me but doesn't scare me like losing my eyesight. >> reporter: researchers at n.i.h. say they will continue to look for new therapies to treat type two diabetes in children. >> so if we're looking at a population of young people who are developing it early on and now we're going to be having ten or 20 years of duration in the prime of their life as opposed to when they're 60 or 70 years old, we're faced with the prospect of a huge public health burden for the country. >> reporter: projections for diabetes cases are not encouraging. it's estimated now that by the year 2040 one in three americans will be diagnosed with the disease. >> ifill: tomorrow, we'll report on a california city's solution to rising rates of diabetes, a
proposal to tax sugary drinks. a slide show on our website offers tips on how to avoid the disease and a video features a student chef competition for the healthiest school meals. >> woodruff: next, remembering one of the most celebrated authors of science fiction. jeffrey brown has our look. >> brown: ray bradbury was a modern master who helped bring the genre of science fiction writing into the cultural mainstream and it began as a young boy, with fairy tales. >> i got a book of fairy tales when i was five years old. and i fell in love with reading. all those wonderful stories like "beauty and the beast" and "jack and the beanstalk." so i began with fantasy. >> brown: beginning in the early '50s, bradbury's books would sell more than eight million copies. they include the short-story collections "the martian chronicles" and "the illustrated man" and his novels "fahrenheit
451" and "something wicked this way comes." he also wrote poetry, plays... >> he rises! >> brown: the screenplay for the 1956 movie "moby dick." and hosted the "ray bradbury theater" on television. bradbury referred to himself as an idea writer, but one with a close eye on changes and the culture around him. this is from a 1970s interview. >> if i'm anything at all, i'm not really a science fiction writer. i'm a writer of fairy tales and modern myths about technology. >> brown: bradbury won numerous literary awards and the national medal of arts in 2004. he died yesterday in los angeles at 91. and we explore the life and legacy of ray bradbury with lev grossman, book critic for "time" magazine and himself a best-selling writer. his novels include "the magicians" and "the magician king."
lev, perhaps first for those who haven't read ray bradbury, what do you think make him such an important writer in american literary life? >> well, you know, you come to him as a science fiction writer, but as soon as you start reading him you start to realize that he's doing things that you didn't realize that science fiction could do. i mean, with bradbury you start weeping, you're terrified, you're happy, you're laughing. he took you places psychologically that science fiction writers didn't usually go or didn't go before then. he was exploring outer space but in essence he was really exploring inner space. he was sort of taking you on a journey, the inner space in your unconscious. >> brown: there's a wonderful interview in print he did with the paris "review" that i was reading and he said "when i was a young writer if you went to a party and told someone you were a science fiction writer you would be insulted. they would call you flash gordon all evening, or buck rogers."
so he really had to fight his way in past this sense of the genre as a lesser type of writing. >> well, it's funny, he did. and he did it because he was as smart as the guys who were writing literary fiction and he wrote better than they did. he was interested in words. and language in a way that very few science fiction writers or even any writers are. he was so good that they had to acknowledge him. they had to acknowledge that science fiction was a kind... was just another kind of literature as good as any other. and the funny thing is, he didn't really seem to care that much. he thought of himself as a writer. he loved what he did and people could like it or not. it was all the same to him. >> brown: how did he see his writing and science fiction? he referred to science fiction as the fiction of ideas and i said in our intro he referred to himself as an idea writer. so what do we know about how he saw himself as dong? >> well, he was certainly one of
the early cautionary voices about technology, about where it was taking us, about how technology was changing us even as it was developing, the tools we were using affect who we are and how we live and what our culture is. he was one of the first people to kind of pay attention to that feedback loop and think about where it was taking us. and that was... you know, that was a revelation and many writers do it now but he was among the first and best. >> brown: and we should set the context there. that starts in the 1950s, right? postwar, cold war, well, the beginnings of going to space and the fears of nuclear war. >> yes. well, he sort of... he presided over this period in the 20th century that saw so much incredible change. the rise of digital computers, space travel, nuclear war and he was one of those wise skeptical voices who kind of kept us centered and on track and gave us a sense of perspective that,
you know, these things were amazing but they were also terrifying and they could take us to dark places that maybe we didn't realize. >> brown: i saw a list today... people were putting out lists from his writings that eventually came true that seemed crazy at the time but they did come true. >> he said often "i'm not writing to describe the future or predict it, i'm writing to prevent it." and i think what he meant by that was he wrote cautionary tales that allowed us to kind of head things off at the pass before they happened. >> pelley: where do you see his legacy today. what kind of writer? >> well, he was one of the early writers who really transcended any sort of sense of boundary between science fiction and literature and there have been so many writers who do that. since then kurt vonnegut, philip k. dick but later writers like michael chapin, neil gay man.
writers who write in a way that defines themselves both as literary writers and as genre writers and shows that there isn't any great difference between the two. >> brown: do you have a favorite one before we go? do you have a favorite book or citstory? >> well, "martian chronicles" for me is the masterpiece. this idea that we could go to earth... to another place, another planet and go there only to sort of reencounter these sort of dark spirits from our own unconsciousness. it was such a beautiful and powerful idea. that's the one that stays with me. >> brown: all right, the life, work and legacy of ray bradbury. lev grossman, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: we'll be back shortly with a conversation about teachers, testing and accountability. but first, this is pledge week on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support. and that support helps keep programs like ours on the air.
>> woodruff: for those stations not taking a pledge break. this year marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of internment camps that housed more than 110,000 japanese americans during world word ii. our pbs colleagues at kqed "plus" in san jose, california profiled a doctor who served in one camp. our story is narrated by becca king reed. >> reporter: silhouetted against the backdrop of the snowcapped eastern sierras in southern california, guard towers and the military police gates still bare silent witness to one of the darkest chapters in american history. the only thing that seems to move free is the offerings of the origami cranes that dance in the wind at the monument in the cemetery at manzanar. it is difficult to imagine a more desolate place. freezing in the with heart stopping heat in the summer and sand storms that could drop you
to your knees, manzanar was one of ten japanese american internment camps that were built during world war ii, following the outbreak of war with japan on december 7, 1941. in the panic that followed pearl harbor, japanese american citizens were rounded up and sent to what amounted to prison camps for the duration of the war. the internment camp at manzanar has been turned into a national historic site. at age 95, dr. masako miura knows a great deal about the history of manzanar. her entire family was interned at the camp and she herself was one of the few physicians who could offer any kind of medical help to the people that were held behind the barbed wire. >> they recruited five doctors for manzanar and they had 10,000 people in there. >> reporter: born and raised in pasadena with her sisters, dr. miura has had what can be best described as a remarkable journey.
a widow she now lives alone in a townhouse in aptos but she still has vivid memories of her childhood. >> well, my dad had a bathhouse, you know in those days about 1914 there was no bathtubs in the house. so they all, working people came out to the bathhouse and took their baths there. he had rows of bathhouse on both sides of the building, and i don't know how many there were, but there were quite a number of them. >> reporter: masako was just like any other young woman growing up in los angeles in the 1930s and she graduated from hollywood high school, where she was an excellent student. she would go on to graduate from the university of southern california in 1937. just as impressively she went to u.s.c. medical school where she was only one of two women in her class of 1941. masako was six months into her residency and working at la
county hospital, when the empire of japan attacked pearl harbor. >> well, we were kind of surprised because we didn't think japan, would attack like that you know. we thought, "gee what are we suppose to do?" we were right in the middle and thought, "oh my, what are--," we didn't know what to do actually. >> reporter: in the hysteria that followed, president franklin roosevelt authorized executive order 9066 on february 19, 1942, and japanese nationals and japanese-americans were forcibly relocated. more than 110,000 people were sent to what were called war relocation camps. recently married to another japanese-american doctor, masako was recruited to serve as a physician at manzanar. since she knew her family was to be sent to the same war relocation camp, she agreed to serve as a doctor. however, she wasn't prepared for the living conditions, or what passed for a hospital. >> well, we just had a regular
room, with cots on them and that was it, and army blankets. and then, of course, at that time we had no facilities, no medical facilities at all, all we had was a hot plate, a wash basin and a few syringes and needles, that we would boil and knifes and things that we needed, you know, and so when we gave shots we would boil all the syringes and needles and then give shots to the people. >> reporter: life in the camps was hard, especially for the women. the shame and embarrassment was almost intolerable and it was masako who spoke out first. >> no privacy at all, and i said, "look, you've got to put partition in or curtains, so that people have a little more privacy, especially the women need it. so finally they got around to it, but it took a long while before i could, you know
convince them to do it. >> reporter: japanese american catholic nuns were also in the interned in the camp and when the priests came to visit them, masako again spoke out this time for the children. >> i said, well, what we need to do is have some organized play, and so i said it would be nice if you could bring baseball bat and ball, so the kids could start playing you know baseball and having a little organization in their play, and at least they'd have something to look forward to then. and so the fathers brought the bat and ball for the kids and i think that's how the baseball started in the camps. >> reporter: baseball was only one of her many gifts. decency and humanity when the world seemed to have turned upside down is her lasting legacy. masako would spend a year at manzanar and then go on to serve as a doctor at the camp in utah at topaz until the end of war. she would go on to raise a family and return to her career in medicine.
despite everything she witnessed and experiences she is not bitter. she moved on with her life. >> i think it's a matter of keeping contact with everybody, and if people know how you feel and you get along with people, i think you do a lot better. but if you stay isolated i think it's the worst thing you can do. >> reporter: other then the compelling visitors center there's really not much to see at the historic site at manzanar-- a guard tower and the old main gate are about all that is left to preserve the past and remind us of the american history took place here more than 65 years ago. >> ifill: the last residents of manzanar departed in november 1945, more than three and a half years after the camp opened. >> woodruff: finally tonight, our series on teachers, testing and accountability.
on monday and tuesday, we heard from philanthropist melinda gates of the gates foundation. and diane ravitch, a historian and former assistant secretary of education. tonight, we listen to teachers. ray suarez recently moderated a conversation, organized by wnet in new york city, featuring educators from each of the city's five boroughs. it's part of our american graduate project sponsored by the corporation for public broadcasting and the bill and melinda gates foundation. >> suarez: earlier this spring we invited teachers to talk about the crisis. they are kalila brand, amanda moskowitz, a science at math teacher at p.s. 279.
captain man well rivera middle school. seth cupperman, a science teacher at manhattan's high school for math, science and engineering, jean raleigh for p.s. 19 in stat tan island and babson wang, a math teacher at by a side high school in queens. i wanted to talk to you about the national conversation which is going on here in new york as well of assessing teachers and trying to perhaps encourage those who aren't doing a good job to seek other careers and promoting, encouraging, incentivizing those who have a knack for this. is it a worthwhile question to be asking and can it lead us somewhere that's useful for our kids? >> i don't think anyone has a problem with accountability in and of itself. anyone has a problem with assessment in and of itself. >> i don't think anyone has a problem with accountability in and of itself. i don't think anyone has a problem with assessment in and of itself. the problem, like you said, is
the implementation of it. even when it's in a system where the teachers kind of a... a-- promote it. the observation protocol. most teachers who are in unions have some sort of observation that happens. for most teachers the reality is maybe twice a year. twice a year for about an hour. imagine a job where the only decision as to whether you'll retain another year of satisfactory work is your administration or your boss whoever looking at two, one hour experiences of what you do and a conversation afterwards of that. and i have been teaching eight years. i think i've been observed five times and, and never one time, i was told these are the things that you can do to improve. they never came back to see if i did it. they never... nothing ever happened and so its not just about being rated or ranked it's like, what are we really trying to do with teachers? what are we really trying to say? >> i think that we expect ourselves to differentiate and that that's considered good practice but then there's no follow through on the students
for that so the state tests aren't differentiated based on their needs and then were evaluated based on their state test scores and so there's no differentiation for our evaluations. so every teacher is evaluated on the same criteria, no matter where they're coming from, where they're teaching, who they're teaching and what those students needs are. >> suarez: bobson, testing has become such a big part of being a student in part of the 21st century, is it giving you th kind of information you want? the kind of information you need when someone just hits the front door and they're your new charge? >> well, we get a lot of information from standardized tests, especially from the state test. the problem is interpreting it correctly. i mean, we can-- i can get kids so we have all this data from the city and from the state. it's a question of, do we have the tools necessary to really interpret it and understand that the score may not be what it represents? and that's a problem with assessment.
>> suarez: has it been a useful tool for you seth? all this new data about what kids know? >> i wouldn't say terribly much. what i'm more upset at is not that i don't have the tools but that the tools that i have found that do seem to comport with and do seem to correlate with student achievement, student motivation are ones that i had to develop or research on my own. >> suarez: do anyone of you find yourself surprised in october, in november-- i thought you knew this already. i thought you were supposed to know this already. >> yes, and every time i think that, i say to myself, assume nothing. you want to make the assumption, as a high school teacher, you have this foundation there but i am just at the point where as soon as i say that, i say, you know what, you cannot assume that they-- they've gotten what they've needed to be at this point. they've been passed through and it's because of everything is so
high stakes. we teach living skills. we teach much to these students that they don't remember the next day. you know, that's an issue. retention on behalf of the student. now why is that? what do they do when they go home? what are they doing for extracurricular activity? what else are they reading? i sit in front of students and say, we learned this last week! >> can i jump into that? i think part of it is systematic. i think part of it comes from expectations. when the courses, at least in high school, are so separated: biology, chemistry, physics, earth science. there is so little in terms of expectation in each course that you retained anything or need anything from the previous course-- i think the message is clear to the student that the courses themselves are so independent from each other that you need not retain anything from the previous year to have success in the subsequent year.
>> suarez: i want to thank you all for your participation in this program, thanks for the work that you do and helping raise the kids of new york and giving your working lives to that very noble and very vital task. thanks a lot. >> woodruff: you can watch our previous stories in this series online on our american graduate page. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day: wisconsin governor scott walker called for unity after winning a recall vote. wall street had its best day of the year. and, activists in syria claimed nearly 80 people were killed by government forces in villages outside hama. at least 40 women and children were said to be among the dead. and our reporting on syria continues online. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: checrld page for latest on the u.n. observer mission and the lack of a ceasefire in a location report from our partners at globalpost. that's orld ence page, we member sir andre, who shared the nobel prize in 1963 for discovering how nerves generate electrical impulses that control movement and thought. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org.
judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions